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Royal High School hotel backers cite new poll indicating overwhelming public support

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November 27 2015

Royal High School hotel backers cite new poll indicating overwhelming public support
Developers behind a £75m hotel development at Edinburgh’s historic Royal High School are claiming public backing for the project following a survey of local residents.

A total of 5,000 people across 12 city wards were quizzed on the plans, the fourth such consultation to be carried out since the project began, with 93 per cent agreed that a hotel was a suitable end-use and 92 per cent backing the proposed Hoskins Architects design.

When asked whether the proposal would have a positive or neutral impact on Edinburgh’s world heritage status support dropped to 78 per cent.

In their report Scott Porter Research & Marketing wrote: “The Ward consultation shows the vast majority are in favour of the development, with only a very small minority not in favour in each Ward. Results are consistent across all Wards and mirror the positive results of the previous phases. They demonstrate a clear and unambiguous picture. There is also only a small minority in each Ward who feel that the proposal would produce a negative effect on Edinburgh’s World Heritage Status, indicating that this is not seen as an issue.”

Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels propose to restore the former Royal High School and in doing so turn it into a Rosewood Hotel whilst maintaining public ownership through a long-term lease with Edinburgh City Council.

11 Comments

Reno Trumpet
#1 Posted by Reno Trumpet on 27 Nov 2015 at 22:29 PM
I haven't seen this image before but it just confirms this is really lazy lazy architecture. Also having been on the other end of utilising "marketing consultants" the questions asked can quite easily loaded to fool the unsuspecting public into accepting and agreeing with the proposals. Just saying.
shabbadoo
#2 Posted by shabbadoo on 30 Nov 2015 at 13:55 PM
looking at those lamp posts, someone went a bit crazy with the auld photoshop clone stamp!
Jaro
#3 Posted by Jaro on 30 Nov 2015 at 17:37 PM
So the developer made an effort to take a photo from a drone only to show the reference to the to be demolished St James Centre. Nice trick. As well manipulated as the figures. Not to mention the fact no one is ever going to see this view apart from the seagulls and previously mentioned drones.
Cadmonkey
#4 Posted by Cadmonkey on 30 Nov 2015 at 20:51 PM
To avoid any doubt about if the public were hoodwinked into supporting the proposal....What were the actual questions asked in the survey?
neil
#5 Posted by neil on 1 Dec 2015 at 10:46 AM
To be fair, this is one of many views that have been produced - many of them from realistic human viewpoints (specific views requested by the council). Considering the brief, I think they have done a good job of it - but it demonstrates that the brief is wrong for the site. Just as well there is another application going in for a different scheme with a different brief that sounds more appropriate.
Robert
#6 Posted by Robert on 1 Dec 2015 at 11:46 AM
You can't see the St James Centre when looking at Calton Hill from the bottom half of the Royal Mile. That isn't a view you get from anywhere, other than, at a push, maybe on your tip toes from the back window of a top floor flat on the Canongate. The image is clearly engineered to mislead people and the planners should be tough on this sort of thing.
Bonvivant
#7 Posted by Bonvivant on 4 Dec 2015 at 09:45 AM
I never thought I would be saying this, but I prefer the St James Centre as seen in the background, which is presumably the inspiration for the massing and detailing of the proposals.
Christopher Dinnis
#8 Posted by Christopher Dinnis on 4 Dec 2015 at 17:36 PM
I do not believe the poll as it is obviously bias. The design is a great disappointment and in fact has any real design even been done?? One cannot ruin a beautiful building by plonking on drums on either side. This site is unique and as such great care must be taken which will require money to do. So good quality design and not commercial slap dash design work is required and it can be done on a proper budget. So please people of Edinburgh do not let this horror go any further.
A Kiwi in Edinburgh
#9 Posted by A Kiwi in Edinburgh on 5 Dec 2015 at 10:16 AM
I'm not in love with this design, but what a load of typical UR hot air in most of these comments...

#3 & #6. You obviously don't know Edinburgh, or if you do, you need to get out more. You don't need a drone to get that view, just a brisk walk to the popular viewpoint at the NE end of Salisbury Crags. It's lovely, you should try it some time. This image is heavily edited, cropped to about 15% (by UR? For what purpose?) of an original showing the full extent of the Old Royal High School and all of Calton Hill.

#1, #4 & #8. A 50pg document detailing the methodology and results of the consultation is available on the official site and council planning portal. If you are so sure of wrongdoing, I suggest you read through it before throwing out accusations of "hoodwinking", "obvious bias", etc.

Is it really so inconceivable that 9 out of 10 members of the public, most of whom barely give a passing thought to the built environment, would approve of a £75m private investment which will create one of Europe's most exclusive hotels and with it hundreds of jobs, bringing thousands of super rich tourists and celebs(!) to Edinburgh, who'll spend more even money creating even more jobs? For your average man or woman in the street, what's not to like? Personally, I'm surprised its approval rating isn't higher than 93%.
CADMonkey
#10 Posted by CADMonkey on 5 Dec 2015 at 21:19 PM
Kiwi
I can't see the 50 page document you refer to on the Planning Portal.
Could you put a link to it here please?
I'm keen to see the original questions asked to the public.
Thanks
A Kiwi in Edinburgh
#11 Posted by A Kiwi in Edinburgh on 6 Dec 2015 at 17:46 PM
CADMonkey,

Can't link directly, but 'Phase 4 consultation process + results Nov 2015' is currently the most recent document uploaded to 15/03989/FUL.

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